Common Sports Injuries; Causes, Treatment

Sports injuries’ is an umbrella term used to collectively denote physical damage caused while playing a sport or during training sessions. Physical combat, inadequate warming and conditioning before as well as after an activity, use of faulty equipment or technique, wearing improper shoes or not using protective gear are the common causes of injuries. If the player is out of form, he may be at a higher risk of suffering an injury. Repetitive or excessive use of the joint may damage the tendons, ligaments or muscles and may also result in dislocation or breakage of bones.

Discussed below are some of the most common sports injuries:

Tennis Elbow

Also known as Lateral Epicondylitis, it is an injury characterized by minor tears in the ligaments of the elbow joint. Overuse of the thumb and first two fingers of the hand is one of the main cause of Tennis Elbow. It is commonly seen in tennis players, painters, plumbers, typists and carpenters.


  • Pain which radiates to the upper arm
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Discomfort while gripping or lifting objects, shaking hands and making a fist


  • Use of elbow brace
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Rest
  • Cryotherapy
  • Injecting steroids into the joint

Ankle Sprain

Overstretching of the ligaments on either side of the ankle joint is termed as an Ankle Sprain. It can occur in isolation or may accompany an ankle fracture or dislocation. The ligaments may become loose due to stretching or there could be a complete tear.


  • Pain in the ankle
  • Swelling
  • Ecchymosis- bleeding under the skin that leads to discoloration
  • Inability to walk or bear body weight


  • RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation
  • Physical therapy
  • Use of ankle brace
  • Surgery, in case of complete damage to ligament

Shin Splints

Shin Splints is a condition that causes pain on the outer pat of the leg. It can be a result of minor fractures in the shin bone, collapsed foot arch, weak hip or core muscles and swelling or irritation in the supporting muscles. The condition is commonly seen in athletes and dancers.


  • Throbbing pain in front of the leg, particularly after physical activity
  • Swelling and tenderness


  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation may be helpful
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Use of orthotic devices and shoe inserts

Hamstring Pull/Stretch

It is an overuse injury which affects the three muscles extending from the thigh to the back of the knee joint. Lack of flexibility, weak glutes and inadequate warmup before exercise are the main causes of this injury. Pulled Hamstring most commonly affects athletes involved in running, skating, football, basketball and soccer.


  • Pain that can be severe
  • Inability to bear weight on the leg
  • A popping sensation behind the thigh or knee
  • Tenderness and bruising


  • Adequate rest
  • Apply ice packs for few days
  • Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Severe damage may require surgical intervention

ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which connects the thigh bone to the shin bone, may get torn or stretched during sports. Some of the causes of the injury are incorrect landing from a jump, stopping suddenly, twisting the leg excessively and sudden change in direction. A direct hit on the side of the knee joint may also damage the ACL.


  • A loud pop may be heard at the time of injury
  • Instability and weakness in the knee
  • Severe pain
  • Range of motion is limited
  • Swelling and tenderness


  • RICE- Rest, ice pack, compression and keeping the leg elevated
  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical reconstruction or removal of the damaged ligament

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